Your system has been inspected and connected, it’s running and generating solar energy and it looks great – but how do you use it? What do you need to know?

These are very common questions we are often asked. To assist you in getting the best return on investment out of your solar solution, we have developed the following guide to get you started as a new solar owner.

Load-shifting

Load-shifting is an energy management technique where you essentially move your electricity consumption from one period to another. We recommend moving as much of your electricity use as possible to daylight hours when your solar will be in peak production. This will allow you to use your solar power as it is being produced, enabling you to use your own free energy and make the most of your solar investment!

The best way to load-shift, is to switch on your heavy usage appliances such as the dishwasher, heating and cooling, clothes dryer or washing machine during the day. If you aren’t home during the day to run your appliances, consider running them on a timer. Set your heating and cooling to operate at pre-set times or purchase appliance timers to assist you in your load-shifting efforts.

Work in intervals

Avoid running all of your appliances at the same time. Instead, try to stagger the times when your appliances are in use to avoid having to draw extra electricity from the grid. For example, run your dishwasher from 10am-11am and then your washing machine from 11am-12pm – not at the same time! Using your appliances in intervals will allow you to use minimal to no power from the grid (depending on your system size and load requirements).

Keep it tidy

Make sure you keep on top of any potential shading issues that may interfere with your solar systems production. Keep any trees cut back and avoid installing or planting anything around your solar panels that may cause an obstruction.

Keep an eye on your roof for fallen branches or other debris and get these cleared so they do not impact your systems performance.

Keep an eye on things

Make sure your solar is operating correctly and learn how your system performs through monitoring. Most inverters will have an app which shows you your systems PV production. This is the same for batteries and an app is available for both the Tesla Powerwall 2 and Soltaro battery.

Solar Analytics is the best performance monitoring solution to add to your system. Solar Analytics constantly monitors and analyses to let you and your retailer know when your solar system isn’t performing at its peak. Improved performance, faster fault rectification and more uptime means greater solar savings and faster payback.

Keep it maintained

Yearly electrical maintenance should be undertaken, particularly if your property is old. This is because your solar provides consistent, regular power cycles that can highlight faulty circuits in your home earlier than if your home did not have solar due to increased cycles.

Start storing your energy

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Consider adding a battery to your solar solution. If you are exporting 5kWh a day or more back into the grid you may not be taking full advantage of the power your solar is producing during the day and battery may assist you in better utilizing this excess power.

According to Solar Victoria, installing a solar battery can help a typical household save up to $640 a year. You can find more information about solar in our Cola Solar battery guide here: https://www.colasolar.com.au/solar-batteries-101-the-easy-guide/

Thank you for reading our post-installation tips for solar owners.

At Cola Solar we offer post-installation support and service. If you have a question about your system or need assistance, you can submit a service enquiry through our website at: https://www.colasolar.com.au/service-enquiry/